RSS

Monthly Archives: November 2008

New Symantec Report Reveals Booming Underground Economy

Symantec Corp. released its Report on the Underground Economy. The report details an online underground economy that has matured into an efficient, global marketplace in which stolen goods and fraud-related services are regularly bought and sold, and where the estimated value of goods offered by individual traders is measured in millions of dollars. The report is derived from data gathered by Symantec’s Security Technology and Response (STAR) organization, from underground economy servers between July 1, 2007 and June 30, 2008.

The potential value of total advertised goods observed by Symantec was more than $276 million for the reporting period. This value was determined using the advertised prices of the goods and services and measured how much advertisers would make if they liquidated their inventory.

Credit card information is the most advertised category of goods and services on the underground economy, accounting for 31 percent of the total. While stolen credit card numbers sell for as little as $0.10 to $25 per card, the average advertised stolen credit card limit observed by Symantec was more than $4,000. Symantec has calculated that the potential worth of all credit cards advertised during the reporting period was $5.3 billion.

The popularity of credit card information is likely due to the many ways this information can be obtained and used for fraud; credit cards are easy to use for online shopping and it’s often difficult for merchants or credit providers to identify and address fraudulent transactions before fraudsters complete these transactions and receive their goods. Also, credit card information is often sold to fraudsters in bulk, with discounts or free numbers provided with larger purchases.

The second most common category of goods and services advertised was financial accounts at 20 percent of the total. While stolen bank account information sells for between $10 and $1,000, the average advertised stolen bank account balance is nearly $40,000. Calculating the average advertised balance of a bank account together with the average price for stolen bank account numbers, the worth of the bank accounts advertised during this reporting period was $1.7 billion. The popularity of financial account information is likely due to its potential for high payouts and the speed at which payouts can be made. In one case, financial accounts were cashed out online to untraceable locations in less than 15 minutes.

During the reporting period, Symantec observed 69,130 distinct active advertisers and 44,321,095 total messages posted to underground forums. The potential value of the total advertised goods for the top 10 most active advertisers was $16.3 million for credit cards and $2 million for bank accounts. Furthermore, the potential worth of the goods advertised by the single most active advertiser identified by Symantec during the study period was $6.4 million.

The underground economy is geographically diverse and generates revenue for cybercriminals who range from loose collections of individuals to organized and sophisticated groups. During this reporting period, North America hosted the largest number of such servers, with 45 percent of the total; Europe/Middle East/Africa hosted 38 percent; followed by Asia/Pacific with 12 percent and Latin America with 5 percent. The geographical locations of underground economy servers are constantly changing to evade detection.

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 24, 2008 in Symantec

 

HP Takes Lead in TOP 500 Supercomputing List

For the second consecutive year, the powerful and energy-efficient HP BladeSystem c-Class server has dominated the TOP500 list of the world’s largest supercomputing installations by delivering a flexible architecture that provides customers with measurable cost, space and energy savings.

Including systems built on HP ProLiant architectures, HP now commands a total of 41.8 percent of systems on the TOP500 list.

HP BladeSystem powers 40.2 percent of the systems on the most recently announced list; this represents more blade installations than all other vendors combined. Versatile, energy-efficient and affordable, HP blade servers provide customers with the maximum density required for high-performance and scale-out computing.
<!–more–>
With 201 placements, the number of HP BladeSystem servers on the TOP500 list has increased by 5 percentage points compared to the June 2008 ranking and by 10 percentage points compared to June 2007. The number of high-performance computing (HPC) installations using blade servers on the TOP500 list has increased more than any other single computing architecture. In fact, blade-powered systems are increasingly replacing proprietary systems in the HPC area and legacy mainframe architectures in commercial environments.

“Customers can maximize their high-performance computing investments while increasing energy efficiency with blades, clearly improving their bottom line,” said Veronica Abad Escalante, Industry Standard Servers product manager. “The continued dominance of HP BladeSystem customers on the TOP500 list demonstrates the growing market demand for industry-standard architectures that address a broader set of computing challenges at a far lower cost than proprietary systems and mainframes.”

Emphasizing the strong momentum of HP blade technology in the market, the HP ProLiant BL2x220c G5 powers several of the most power efficient industry-standard supercomputing clusters, including WETA Digital Ltd. in New Zealand, Cyfronet in Poland and Columbia University in New York City. The BL2x220C G5 delivers up to 260 megaflops-per-watt ratio(1) running the TOP 500 Linpack Benchmark across a single, 32-node enclosure.

This performance benefit, coupled with double the performance per rack, positions the HP BL2x220c as the leading server blade for customers that need maximum application performance without the additional infrastructure costs.

According to IDC’s worldwide HPC server Qview report, HP is the leading provider of HPC servers with 37 percent of the overall market based on revenue in the second quarter of 2008.(2)

“Over the last several years, we’ve seen an explosive growth of blade servers for a widening range of high-performance computing applications – from digital media creation and online gaming to more traditional HPC applications such as computer-aided design,” said Earl Joseph, program vice president, High-performance Computing, IDC Research. “Previously, customers’ only choice for HPC was a high-end, multi-million dollar supercomputer. Now, blades offer a highly flexible, scalable, lower-budget alternative to the proprietary systems that historically dominated the TOP500 list.”

Top-ranking HP customers
Having recently doubled the size of its supercomputing cluster configuration, Academy Award-winning animation company WETA Digital is now ranked 101-104 on the TOP500 list. The new system consists of four supercomputing clusters and is powered by 1,280 HP BL2x220c server blades, which provide 205 teraflops(3) accumulated peak performance.

As a result of the increased application performance and improvements in energy efficiency, WETA Digital has the processing density to produce cutting-edge digital animation faster, while still lowering operations overhead.

“In the world of visual effects, finding technology that is faster and energy-efficient is one of the most influential components to maintaining a competitive edge in this crowded marketplace,” said Paul Ryan, chief technology officer, WETA Digital.

“HP’s new BL2x220c has enabled us to double our processing capacity in the existing physical data center space. As a result, we’ve been able to increase capacity without building out our data center or experiencing additional power consumption costs associated with cooling hundreds of blades,” added Adam Shand, systems team lead, WETA Digital.
Also making a mark on the TOP500 list is India’s Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC). C-DACs “PARAM Cluster” is ranked 69 on the list, with a system powered by 288 HP ProLiant DL580 G5 servers that offer a peak performance of 54 teraflops per second.

About the rankings
The TOP500 ranking of supercomputers is released twice a year by researchers at the Universities of Tennessee and Mannheim, Germany, and at NERSC Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The list ranks supercomputers worldwide based on the Linpack N*N Benchmark, a yardstick of performance that is a reflection of processor speed and scalability.

More information about HP HPC is available at http://www.hp.com/go/hpc.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 24, 2008 in HP

 

ASUS P6T6 WS Revolution Workstation Motherboard

The ASUS P6T6 WS Revolution is the ideal foundation for a powerful workstation for Small Office usage, SOHOs and mainstream workstation users; with its unparalleled performance. Through ASUS’ revolutionary and innovative design, the P6T6 WS Revolution is able to support three true x16 link PCI-E slots for NVIDIA’s 2-way & 3-way SLI™ and ATi CrossFireX™ technologies to deliver extreme graphical processing performance. Furthermore, it is also equipped with 6 PCI-E Gen2 x16 slots onboard to provide users with high speed I/O and flexible graphic and computing options.

Three True x16 Link PCI-E for 3-way SLI and CrossFireX on Demand
The P6T6 WS Revolution comes equipped with built-in 3-way SLI/CrossFireX on Demand technology for outstanding graphical performance. This revolutionary technology allows users to enjoy 2-way / 3-way SLI™ technology or CrossFireX™ support on the same motherboard. This means that users will be able to install up to three 3-Way SLI-capable graphics cards and retain the flexibility to run a CrossFireX setup. Whichever option they choose, users are guaranteed mind-boggling graphics performance for improved work efficiency. It can also support true @16 PCI-E Gen2 3-Way SLI technology, which will present the fastest and the most reliable graphic performance to users whether they are engaged in Mechanical/ Architecture/ Interior/ Aircraft/ Audio/Video Design or playing games in their leisure time.
<!–more–>
Revolutionary 6 High Speed PCI-E Gen2 x16 Slots
The P6T6 WS Revolution is equipped with 6 PCI-E Gen2 x16 Slots to provide customers with high speed I/O options. Each slot will support up to 8GB/s of bandwidth, which is double the bandwidth when compared to PCI-E 1.1—suitable for high speed Infiniband connections, professional graphic or high-performance computing cards. With 6 PCI-E Gen2 x16 slots, users will have sufficient I/O interfaces to fulfill their demands of any high-end graphic or high-performance computing solution. With the ability to run both types of multi-GPU setups with the SLI/CrossFire on Demand technology, users can utilize up to three graphics cards in a 3-Way SLI or CrossFireX configuration to ensure astonishingly smooth graphics.

Multitude of Storage Options with Cutting-edge SAS
The P6T6 WS Revolution provides users with onboard SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) ports that supports hard drive upgrade flexibility; and retains full compatibility with the ASUS optional SASsaby card. Faster, safer and more stable, SAS hard disks will provide higher data transmission speeds and better data storage reliability in comparison to current SATA interfaces; and will provide users with a better choice for storage expansion and upgrade needs.

Industry-leading Power Design
The breakthrough 16+2 power design (16-phase to vCore; 2-phase to vDRAM/QPI controller inside CPU) technology is able to: achieve high power efficiency; effectively dispel heat generated by the VRM module, and lower temperatures better in comparison to other VRM solutions. With high quality power components such as: low RDS (on) MOSFETs, Ferrite core chokes with lower hysteresis loss, and 100% Japan-made high quality conductive polymer capacitors, the ASUS 16+2 phase VRM design also ensures longer component life, minimum power loss, and helps to reach higher overclocking scores than ever before.

Enjoy Working with WS Diag. LED and the “ASUS Heartbeat”
Working with the ASUS workstation can now be enjoyable and interesting. During bootup, the Diag. LED will check key components (CPU, DRAM, VGA card and HDD) sequentially; and if an error is found, the LED next to the error device will remain lit until the problem is solved. Once it has successfully booted up, the LEDs around the ASUS brand name on the motherboard will glow brightly and vividly with a deep-blue light according to a regular tempo—much like the steady rhythm of deep breaths—making the workstation board seem like it is “coming to life”.

Surfing the Internet within 5 Seconds* via Express Gate
This additional built-in Operating System makes a host of commonly used applications available to users in just 5 seconds from bootup; including the web browser, instant messenger, Skype, photo manager, music player and online games. With this convenient, instant access to the Internet, users can now send a last-minute email before rushing off to work, browse the Web in between appointments and reach friends and family via the instant messenger all in the blink of an eye.
* Actual boot time is subject to hardware configurations and product models

Practical Features for Efficient Work Solutions
The P6T6 WS Revolution also comes with an additional G.P. Diagnosis card. This useful tool helps provide quick and precise system checks, and displays errors on the LED display—helping users to pinpoint errors quickly. Connected on the TPM header, the G.P. Diagnosis card also provides great convenience by being near the onboard reset and power buttons for easy troubleshooting.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 23, 2008 in Asus

 

HP grabs four Quill Award

HP and its local PR agency, Stratworks Inc., grabbed four merit awards in the 2008 Philippine Quill Awards held recently at the Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila. HP was the only IT company in the roster of this year’s awardees and it is also HP’s first time to receive Quill awards in the history of its Philippine operations.

Three awards were given to HP’s Imaging and Printing Group (IPG) and one for HP’s Personal Systems Group (PSG). The following are the PR programs that made it in this year’s awards:

HP Mythbusters: Asserting the Indelible Merits of HP Original Inks
Marketing Communications category

The successful Mythbusting Night held in November 2007 was the take off of the year-long campaign to educate consumers on the advantages of using HP Original Inks. A third party study entitled “Ink Cartridge Page Yield and Reliability Study conducted by a leading technical test organization, TÜV SÜD PSB, was revealed to the public for the first time. The study showed that HP Original Inks can actually print 2.4 more pages than remanufactured or refilled inks.

HP Original Inks Value Campaign: True vs. False Economies
Multi-Audience category

Following the Mythbusting event, HP rolled out activities to promote awareness and actual preference of consumers to HP Original Inks. The program, tagged as the HP Original Inks 2.4 Value Campaign, included a consumer promo that gave away the biggest prizes to HP Original Inks users: two brand new cars with 2.4 years of FREE gas, 18 trips to New York for two, 72 HP Mini-Note PC and 72 HP All-in-One printers. The campaign also included mall tours and seminars to HP retail partners, distributors, channel suppliers and resellers.

HP Printer Media Review Program: Winning Over the Experts
Media Relations category

The entry of HP printers that cater to different kinds of customers such as consumer, enterprise, SMEs and Small Office/Home Office in the Philippines has led to a continuing review program of these products for the media. The program yielded several positive reviews from key media, and several HP printer models garnered accolades and recognition for their performance and reliability. The said program ensured HP’s consistent presence and visibility in major newspapers and IT magazines.

The BIG Deal about HP Mini-Note PC
Media Relations category

HP’s entry into the sub-notebook category was highly-anticipated by tech experts and the media. Since its launch at the Bonifacio High Street in May this year, the HP 2133 Mini-Note PC made waves in newspapers, magazines and even in blog sites. Most positive reviews were attributed to the HP Mini-Note’s sleek aluminum design and full-function features. The product also earned awards and recognition as one of the best in the UMPC/sub-notebook category. Several celebrities, columnists, editors, reporters and bloggers are now proud owners of the HP Mini-Note PC.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 19, 2008 in HP

 

Symantec Released November State of SPAM Report

In this report, economy- related topics played a major role, as spammers continue to utilize it as a ruse to deliver their spam messages. In general, spam levels averaged in at 76.4 percent of all email messages in October– a decrease from a high of 80 percent in August.

Specific Trends Highlighted in the Report

– It’s the Economy, Stupid”
In October, Symantec detected a spam attack that supposedly came from US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. The message suggested that Paulson had been instructed by the United Nations to “wire a sum of $1M into your Bank Account in a Legal way”. For the recipient to claim the money, he must provide his personal details. In order to sound legitimate, the email begins by providing personal information of the Secretary.

Consequently, Symantec observed another spam attack in October, purportedly originating from the FDIC. This after the US Congress has temporarily increased FDIC deposit insurance from US $100,000 to US $250,000 per depositor until December 31, 2009. The spam message claimed that “funds wired into your account are stolen”, asking the recipients to check their account statement, which the message claims, is attached to the email. Victims who then opened the attachment are exposed to malware.

– The Holidays are Coming: ‘Tis the Season for Spam
As the holiday season approaches, spammers are once again taking a seasonal spam angle and using email to tout such wares as pharmaceutical, product and casino spam.

Other November State of Spam Report Highlights:

– Rise in Image Spam Linked to Phising Scam
– Lottery Scam, Sister to 419 Spam, Continues in October
– Obfuscated URL Attack Targeting German–Speaking Domains

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 19, 2008 in Symantec

 

Industry leader 3LCD Revolutionizes Projection Industry

3-chip Liquid Crystal Display (3LCD), the first and only projection technology to surpass the 50 million chip mark, celebrates its 20th year of innovation.

Epson, with a global market share of 20.9% of the projector market (Future Source, April-June 2008), is the inventor and pioneer of the 3LCD technology. Because of the 3LCD technology’s success, it has been adopted by other leading brands that has in turn, boosted the technology’s market share to more than half of the global market.

3LCD is a sophisticated technology that highly improves and leads industry standards for vibrant, true-to-life, and consistent images for the most demanding business and consumer audiences. Delivering unbelievably bright and natural color, amazing detail and road-tested reliability, the world’s leading projector technology offers brilliant quality images using its pioneering 3-chip LCD.
<!–more–>
Epson designed the 3LCD projector system by using a combination of dichroic mirrors to break the white light from the lamp into red, green and blue light. Each of the three colors of light is then passed through its own LCD panel and then recombined by a dichroic prism before being projected onto the screen. This results in smooth-moving images with rich, full color, since all three basic colors are included in each pixel of the projected image at all times.

According to the report from the Pacific Media Associates (PMA) in the United States, 3LCD leads in all three front projection channels namely, the Pro AV, Distribution and Retail channels. The Pro AV channel serves some of the most demanding markets in the projection business today. Pro AV dealers provide service and support to their customers and require outstanding performance and reliability. The Pro AV channel overwhelmingly continues to choose projectors with 3LCD technology, selling them 3 to 1 over all other technologies combined according to PMA.

Reliability Paves the Road to 50 Million
In the two decades since front projection technology has taken a hold in the global market, 3LCD technology has emerged as a leader with outstanding track record of performance and reliability in the field. With millions of projectors sold and in use today, 3LCD technology delivers every day where users need it most: in meeting rooms, classrooms, board rooms, houses of worship and large venues around the world.

“We are excited to reach all these important industry milestones,” says Mr. Yasunori Ogawa, Epson General Manager of VI Planning & Design Department. “This achievement is a testament to the outstanding performance, reliability and innovation of 3LCD technology that has delivered to millions of projector users over almost 20 years in the market.”

Epson Philippines Corporation is now set to lead the Philippine market towards a new standard in the projection industry with the 3LCD technology.

“Since 1989, the 3LCD technology has surpassed expectations and has become the technology of choice in the global projector market. As we celebrate the company’s 10th anniversary celebration in the Philippines, this showcase on 3LCD as another leading core technology exemplifies our commitment to create and uplift new local industry standards,” says Epson Philippines Corporation Senior General Manager and Division Head for Sales & Marketing Eduardo Bonoan. “As a global leader in projector sales for the last 7 consecutive years*, Epson holds true to its dedication to “Exceed Your Vision” as an innovator in business and in innovating strong products for the customer.”

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 17, 2008 in Epson

 

Canon introduces its latest range of stylish, affordable laser printers for the practical consumer

Canon launches it’s smallest-ever Laser printers, with the Laser Shot LBP3050 and LBP3150. Measuring just 372 x 250 x 197mm, they come in a practical contemporary design with no compromise on Canon quality. The compact, sleek design allows for a more ergonomic design, which melts discreetly into any small workspace and weighs a paltry 5.4kgs. The smart design dismisses the use of an extended tray as a practical space saving solution and the retractable output tray also doubles up as a dust cover when not in use.

Not one to compromise on printing efficiency, the Laser Shot LBP3050 prints at a rapid speed of 14ppm and 16ppm for the LBP3150. You get your first printout in 8.5 seconds, a 15 percent increase in speed as compared to previous models. Achieve detailed, high quality monochrome prints up to 2400 x 600 resolution, made possible with Canon’s Automatic Image Refinement Technology (A.I.R). With a unique U-shaped paper pass for smooth passage of printed sheets, possibilities of annoying paper jams are significantly reduced.
<!–more–>
With absolutely no warm-up time on standby mode, both the Laser Shot LBP3050 and LBP3150 come with patented On-Demand Fixing Technology, which allows for more efficient, time saving printouts with great energy savings. Couple this with Canon Advanced Printing Technology (CAPT 3.0), hasty printing speed is achieved by utilising the host computer to manage print jobs. High Smart Compression Architecture (Hi-SCoA) then aids by compressing data to be delivered in manageable sizes, so less printer RAM is needed for processing. This is a long-term cost effective feature, as the Laser Shot LBP3050 and LBP3150 come with 2MB RAM built-in, with no further memory upgrades required.

But cost-saving features do not stop there. The Laser Shot LBP3050 and LBP3150 consume a minimal 280W while printing and runs on only 2W while on standby and sleep modes. An easy access frontal power switch is another energy saving feature, which visually reminds users to power off after each use.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 17, 2008 in Canon